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Heartsick

Cain, Chelsea (Book - 2007 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Heartsick
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Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind---addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie's a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she's right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth---he can't stay away. When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.
Authors: Cain, Chelsea
Title: Heartsick
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 326 p. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Chelsea Cain
ISBN: 9780312368463
0312368461
Branch Call Number: FICTION CAIN
Subject Headings: Sheridan, Archie (Fictitious character) Fiction Lowell, Gretchen (Fictitious character) Fiction Police Oregon Portland Fiction Women serial murderers Fiction Women journalists Fiction Portland (Or.) Fiction
Topical Term: Sheridan, Archie (Fictitious character)
Lowell, Gretchen (Fictitious character)
Police
Women serial murderers
Women journalists
Authors, American
LCCN: 2007018005
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From Library Staff

Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. As warped a team as you will ever see, as Gretchen proves to be adept at catching killers, since she's a killer herself.

Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. As warped a team as you will ever see, as Gretchen proves to be adept at catching killers, since she's a killer herself.

Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. As warped a team as you will ever see, as Gretchen proves to be adept at catching killers, since she's a killer herself.

Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking a beautiful serial killer named Gretchen Lowell. Now Gretchen is in prison, but Archie continues to visit her because he can't stay away. When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets, Archie has to pull hims... Read More »

A pill-popping detective, a bad girl reporter, and a gorgeously evil woman serial killer are horrifically linked in Portland, Oregon. This hard-boiled thriller delivers torture and trauma.


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Aug 24, 2014
  • Cmw8319 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I decided to read this book series since I heard they might be making a tv series out of it. A great book it draws you in. Gretchen is the female verison of Dexter

Jul 30, 2014
  • lesliemac rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very disturbing, thought provoking, "I feel dirty just reading it" guilty pleasure. I felt totally drained after rooting for the "un-saveable" protagonist. A quick read for those who want a dose of serial killer before watching the next episode of "Dexter".

Apr 14, 2013
  • lindafrog rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Love thrillers and this one didn't disappoint. Just could not put the book down.

Jul 16, 2012
  • melissa73ann rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Alright novel. I felt like the story lacked some depth. Didn't make me want to read the sequels.

Good thriller. Graphic at times.

Jun 21, 2012
  • bridge1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It's hard to understand the reason some people are killers and how some people find them fascinating. A chilling story.

Feb 08, 2012
  • samdog123 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It's been awhile since I read a suspense novel. This really captured my attention! Alex Sheridan is a cop just coming off a medicall leave. He was captured and tortured by a serial killer, Gretchen Lowell, who he hunted for 10 years. Now he's back on the hunt for another serial killer who is targeting young high school girls. Certainly very gripping action, good characters, and very creepy. I couldn't put it down! Looking forward to reading the next in the series, Sweetheart.

Dec 02, 2010
  • Carterpenj rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Well written thriller. Fast read and the flawed characters are great. Recommend for snow, rain or sun days.

Sep 18, 2009
  • lysar rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It has been a long time since I read a book where I was actually so freaked out that the idea of having to get out of bed to turn off the light scared me. I had to squish the urge to wake up Ava, bring her into bed with us and turn on all the lights and pop in some Disney movie.

"With Gretchen Lowell, Chelsea Cain gives us the most compelling, most original serial killer since Hannibal Lecter." -Chuck Palahniuk

I have to agree 100% with Palahniuk. Lowell is easily one the most frightening serial killers. The whole book read as if it could be a biography. Lowell was a really vivid character and the scenes in which she was torturing Archie were just chilling. Everything about her, the way she plotted everything out, manipulated people and actions for her own gain. All of it was calculated and did in fact make Lowell right behind Hannibal in serial killers. Then you also have to consider that the serial killer that Archie is after isn't even Lowell yet she plays such a pivotol role. You have the flashbacks of when Lowell had captured Archie and then the post tidbits you get. How Archie visits her in prison every Sunday. All of it so dark and twisted it's past dark and twisty.

When I first started this book I thought perhaps there'd be some sort of relationship between Susan and Archie, but as the book went on I was so glad that Cain didn't go that route. Both characters are so shattered and unwell that placing them together would've been destructive and eroded them more. I liked that they were more friends and had moments together where you could tell that they cared about each other. But it never crossed the line and the story was better for it, in my opinion.

But what I loved most about this book was the ending. Chilling. I don't want to say too much but the way everything wrapped up was brilliant and I totally didn't see some of it coming. There were pieces which I guessed but I was still suckered punched.

Lastly, I couldn't write this review without mentioning how much I loved the acknowledgment Cain made towards her daughter. After thanking her for taking those extra long naps she add, "Eliza, you can't read this book until your twenty-one. I mean it."

Mar 15, 2009
  • Salemfalls rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I liked this book, though it seemed that there just wasn't enough of the woman serial killer, Gretchen Lowell, for who the book revolves around. It seemed very similar Thomas Harris's book (Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal), but with a twist, the brutal and heartless (no pun intended) is a female. It was different and it kept me on the edge of my seat. If you liked this book, be sure to read the sequel,which in my opinion, is way more action packed.

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Chelsea Cain talks with Chuck Palahniuk

Chelsea Cain and Chuck Palahniuk discuss their friendship and the craft of writing. Cain speaks to her novel "Heartsick".

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